RIP, Speak

My brother had to have his cat put down. He couldn’t take watching him suffer, and he was only about 5 and a 1/2 lbs and completely jaundiced and miserable.

We’re burying him in the backyard of my parents house which is basically a beautiful garden on top of a pet cemetery.

69 replies
  1. 1
    kdaug says:

    Sorry, man.

  2. 2
    Gex says:

    RIP Speak. And hugs and love to your brother who loved him and provided for him all these years.

  3. 3
    sb says:

    Rest in peace.

  4. 4
    Miss Kitkas's Comrade Wayne says:

    It’s good.

  5. 5
    raven says:

    Aw, sorry to hear this news.

  6. 6
    gogol's wife says:

    I’m sorry. It’s so hard. I’m still mourning Masha (also cancer, she also got emaciated, she was only ten), and it’s been since April 2012.

  7. 7
    SFAW says:

    John –
    Sorry to hear about this, it’s always tough to lose a pet you love.

    Best wishes to your brother.

  8. 8
    ruemara says:

    Rest in peace, Speak. Condolences to your brother and his family.

  9. 9
    Anne Laurie says:

    My condolences.

  10. 10
    Mj_Oregon says:

    I’m mourning two kitties lost in the past two months. It’s always so hard to let them go but at the end, the most loving thing we do is ease their way. My condolences to you and your brother.

  11. 11
    MattR says:

    So sorry to hear that. The only comfort I can offer to your brother is that saying goodbye and alleviating Speak’s suffering was the last meaningful demostration of love he could provide. I hope I have that ability to give Ellie a similar proper ending when the time comes instead of keeping her alive and in pain because I cannot bear to part with her.

  12. 12
    Kristine says:

    Deepest sympathies.

  13. 13
    max says:

    Condolences to your brother (and you).

    [‘One of my dogs is getting quite elderly.’]

  14. 14
    cckids says:

    So sorry; condolences to your brother & all of you. You’re a rare & wonderful family who care so much for each other’s pets. Take care.

  15. 15
    pokeyblow says:

    I’m so sorry.

  16. 16
    👽 Martin says:

    The most important thing you can do as a pet owner is ensure they don’t suffer, even when it pains you to lose them. It was the right call.

  17. 17
    YellowJournalism says:

    Poor Speak. My condolences to your brother.

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    RIP, Speak. Pets are heartbreak in a fur coat, but they’re worth it.

  19. 19
    raven says:

    We who choose to surround ourselves
    with lives even more temporary than our
    own, live within a fragile circle;
    easily and often breached.
    Unable to accept its awful gaps,
    we would still live no other way.
    We cherish memory as the only
    certain immortality, never fully
    understanding the necessary plan.
    — Irving Townsend

  20. 20
    brendancalling says:

    Sorry man, that sucks.

  21. 21
    agrippa says:

    I feel for you. I am sorry. I know how you feel as
    my cat died at home Jan 29. he is buried at home. he was almost 16.

  22. 22
    quannlace says:

    I’m so sorry, John. Your brother did the best he could for his friend.
    One thing you can do is squelch anyguilt he may feel afterward. Having gone thru it a few times myself , you always feel ‘I waited too long’ and ‘I did it too soon,’ all at the same time.

  23. 23
    raven says:

    @quannlace: Yep, there’s no way to avoid feeling guilty when you lose the little fellas.

  24. 24
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    My heart goes out to your brother at the loss of Speak. The worst part is that you keep seeing a lost pet out of the corner of your eye for days, weeks, after they’re gone.

  25. 25
    Big R says:

    My thoughts go out to you and your family today.

    I can’t wait until Cole gets back to calling us “fucking twats” again, because it means the mourning will have passed.

  26. 26
    👽 Martin says:

    @Big R: Yes, choking someone out with a strap-on cannot come soon enough… [sniff]

  27. 27
    Kerr Lockhart says:

    Every time we decide to take responsibility for the life of another we open ourselves up to limitless joy and unspeakable pain. I suppose when we are extinct we will be referred to as The Species That Was Completely And Unashamedly Mad.

  28. 28
    Mike in NC says:

    Poor guy. RIP.

  29. 29
    JPL says:

    That is so sad. Hugs. Where I live in GA, the land of freedom, you can’t bury your pets in your yard.

  30. 30
    BethanyAnne says:

    Sorry to hear that. Condolences.

  31. 31
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I am so sorry. Condolences and hugs to Seth and all who loved Speak.

  32. 32
    p says:

    i hope someone has the heart to do the same thing to me.

  33. 33
    Gemina13 says:

    Blessings on Squeak, your brother, yourself, and your family.

  34. 34
    Genine says:

    Rest in Peace, Speak.

  35. 35
    Alison says:


    you always feel ‘I waited too long’ and ‘I did it too soon,’ all at the same time.

    Yes. So true. And so cruel. :( [ETA – that’s not to say you, quannlace, are cruel, but that the inevitable occurrence of this concept is.]

    Very sorry for the loss, JC. My thoughts are with them.

  36. 36
    Dee Loralei says:

    So sorry.

  37. 37
    Comrade Mary says:

    So, so sorry. And your brother is a brave and generous man to move as soon as he saw what needed to be done. It’s the last good gift we can give any pet.

  38. 38
    Sam says:

    I’m so sorry. As a pet owner myself this is so hard, but at the end it’s what we have to do.

    I’m going to go hug my little critters for a bit.

  39. 39
    Hawes says:

    That’s always so rough. Watching my last two dogs go easy into that good night, it’s almost like their last gift they give you is that of overwhelming grief. Complete, shuddering, mind emptying grief.

  40. 40
    Poopyman says:

    Sorry for the pain Squeak suffered in life and his family suffers at his loss. He’s beyond it now and left a loving family. And your brother gave him his forever home.

    Mourn well.

  41. 41
    Ruckus says:

    I wish that I could provide the same level of companionship to someone that our pets do for us. The grief at their loss is a small price to pay for that companionship. They focus us and give us a respite from bad days. They make life better. The least we can do is give them a better life as well. Your brother did, you still are. That’s all there is. And it is enough.

  42. 42
    wmd says:

    Best wishes to Whisper, Speak’s sister and companion. I suspect she will miss him too.

    RIP Speak.

  43. 43
    Jane2 says:

    It’s hard, but the right thing to do…RIP Speak.

  44. 44
    dance around in your bones says:

    Speak shall speak no more. I’m glad he had a human who cared for him so lovingly, enough to put him out of his misery in a humane and peaceful way. And I think it’s great that you all can bury him in the backyard….I’ve never understood the regulations against it. We personally buried all our cats and dogs (except for the one who just disappeared, never to be seen again) and it’s a kind of comfort to know where their final ‘resting spot’ is, complete with favorite toys and blankets.

    My eyes are leaking a bit now.

  45. 45
    geg6 says:

    So sorry about Speak. Give your brother my sympathy. Such a tough thing to do. We have two cairns on the property that speak eloquently to me about the pain that decision brings. We love our pets so much and they bring such joy to our lives that it is a terrible thing to remember that we almost always outlive them. The comfort comes from ending their pain with love and remembering them forever afterward.

    And now Otis and Koda are going to get a great big hug.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @dance around in your bones: We have a corner of our yard where our last two are buried. I still feel bad for them when it rains.

    Speak sounded like a fine beast. Regrets and best hopeful wishes to all he touched.

  47. 47
    dance around in your bones says:

    @FlipYrWhig: We even buried a couple of neighbor’s dogs in our backyard in Mexico (luckily there they are pretty copacetic about stuff like that).

    I still remember the day that I saw my neighbor – a burly and tough guy – on his hands and knees sobbing like a baby because his elderly Australian Shepherd had died in the night. My husband and I went over and hugged him, and then we dug a REALLY LARGE HOLE in our backyard and laid the sweet doggie to rest next to our shep mix (neighbor didn’t have much of a yard to speak of.) A couple of kitties were there, too. We used to wonder what people would think if the yard ever got dug up for the inevitable beachfront condo someday.

  48. 48
    Antonius says:

    Sorry John. Condolences to your brother and his family.

  49. 49
    MomSense says:

    I’m so sorry, John.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    kc says:

    Aww, sorry. Had to put my 18 yr old cat down in December. It sucks.

  52. 52
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I love that song (“Do-hon’t crie-yay-yay”) but yes,us big girls? we do cry.

    As I mentioned above, even big burly tough guys cry, too o_O

  53. 53
    WereBear says:

    @quannlace: you always feel ‘I waited too long’ and ‘I did it too soon,’ all at the same time.

    So true.

  54. 54
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @dance around in your bones:
    Okay, I’m old now and I have no secrets worth keeping. I’ve cried. I cried when I cradled an M60A1 machine gun with a barrel too hot to touch.

  55. 55
    mai naem says:

    I’m sorry for your brother John. Hugs to Whisper.

  56. 56
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Oh Gawd. Now you gonna make me cry AGAIN.

  57. 57
    Drunken hausfrau says:

    I drink to Speak, for life well lived and loved. I drink for Whisper, who is bereft as only another lovely animal can be. I drink for your brother, who has been strong and brave and now must just let himself weep… And stroke Whisper, sharing their sadness.

    Consider this a one woman Irish wake. Drink up.

  58. 58
    Nikolita says:

    RIP Speak.

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss John.

  59. 59
    Luci says:

    Like the rest here, I offer my condolences to your brother and your family. I lost my 10 year old cat today, as it was apparent he could not get more time from the tumor that was growing by his trachea. It was both so painful and such a relief to make the decision to let him go so he will suffer no more. I know what everyone in your family is going through, and I wish you all well. You are all good souls, and your pets are lucky to be with you. I TRULY do understand how much you love Lily and the gang. :)

  60. 60
    Jebediah says:

    Condolences. Shit sucks, no matter how clear it is that it’s time.

  61. 61
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Our bonds to our animal friends improve us forever.

  62. 62
    CaseyL says:

    So sorry for your loss.

    When I have had to do this for my kitties, I remember them afterwards as when they were young, vital and healthy. The mental image is so clear it almost seems I should be able to reach in, pick them up, and bring them back to the world. I really, really hate that I can’t do that.

  63. 63
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    My father, a taciturn man at the best of times, said the following after I put my BritKit to sleep. I almost fell over:

    “There are some things in life that leave a black spot on your heart, and it never goes away. This is one of them.”

    This from a guy who has never shed a tear in his life, at least not where I could hear or see. I cannot speak for the rest. But he was right. The sorrow abates with time. But you do not forget.

    I wish your brother well, Mr. Cole.

    ETA: some people will say that it’s a curse that we outlive them. It is. But far more than that, it’s a privilege to be able to insure that they are well taken care of in their time of dying.

  64. 64
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    My condolences to everyone. It’s always hard, no matter how right the decision.

  65. 65
    Malovich says:

    My cat, Zoe Oreo, died two days ago from complications from doing a biopsy on her lung cancer.

    It was heartbreaking; your brother had to make the choice while we didn’t and we’re damned grateful that *that* choice was taken from us.

    The only consolation I can offer is that Speak lived a better life for having known him.

  66. 66
    dance around in your bones says:


    What a lovely name, Zoe Oreo.I’m sorry about her passing – I had a cat who died during surgery, too. I’m not sure if it was better than ‘making the decision’ – it still hurt like hell. It always does, I think.

  67. 67
    Gregory says:

    I’m very sorry for your* loss.

    *in the plural sense

  68. 68
    ADS says:

    RIP, sweet Speak.

  69. 69
    Gemina13 says:


    Bitterly true, and truly bitter.

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